New Year Starts With You

welcome-2017

Another year has wrapped up and a new one is upon you.  January 1 is the day when everyone sets themself up to start things fresh.  It’s the perfect time, but the only way it will happen is to remember that it starts with you.  You have to be willing to make the adjustments in your life in order to achieve what you desire.

It’s not enough for you to say you are making new resolutions for the year. Rather you should strive for lifestyle changes.  When you incorporate change into your daily life, it’s more likely you will stick to it.  According to Statisticsbrain.com, only 8% of people actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions.  That’s quite discouraging.  It makes you wonder why we even try.

The top resolution every year is to lose weight. That’s why gym memberships skyrocket and the facilities are packed full of people during January, only to quickly dwindle down to the few die-hard fitness fans by February.  Why is it we can’t seem to stick to what we want to do?  Tim Pychyl, a psychologist at Carleton University in Ottawa, told Popular Science that the thought or idea that people intend to do something “satisfies instant gratification: In the moment.”[1]  It makes people feel good when they think about the outcome of a particular goal like losing weight or quitting smoking .  The reality of how you will reach the goal or the plans and effort needed to achieve it are not on the mind when the resolution is being made.

You can implement these following habits into your life and it will help you stick to your resolutions.  It’s about changing daily habits that leads to reaching the final destination.

Slow and Steady Wins

Sometimes you need to take your time in order to accomplish something.  For example, if you are one of the millions who want to lose weight, instead of saying you’re going to “stop eating” something,  start by gradually reducing that particular food.  I used to eat six chocolate bars every day (I know, that’s just gross).  My sweet tooth dominated and in order for me to cut the habit I had to reduce it gradually.  I went down to five per day, then four and so on.  Now, sometimes I don’t even eat one at all.  It took a few months for me to reach that point.  If I went ‘cold turkey’ and tried to stop all at once, I probably would have quickly quit and went back to that bad habit.

So remember, doing things slow and steady is more effective when you’re trying to make  a complete lifestyle change.

Be Accountable

This is one of the reasons people end up quitting what they start.  When there is nobody to hold them accountable it’s easy to slip up.  For example if you are taking classes at the gym and find yourself in one of those, “I don’t feel like going today” moods, it’s easy to just skip the class. Once you don’t go to once, it’s easy to skip the following class.  Find yourself someone who can hold you accountable for those times you slip up on your goal. Sometimes that’s the only way you’ll be able to stay on top of the changes you want to make.  Share your goals with someone who is willing to be your accountability partner.  They can be there to help keep you on track with what you’re trying to do.

Watch Less Television

When you want to get some things accomplished watching television can be one of the biggest time wasters.  This includes watching things online like Netflix or Amazon Prime.  It’s so easy to get caught up and start binge watching a program, before you know it, the entire day is gone.  I’m not saying that you’re bad because you binge watch something online or that you watch television, I enjoy doing both myself for the right programs. I’m just as guilty.  I’ll never forget when I started watching ‘Breaking Bad’ and then couldn’t stop. I had to know what was happening next, before I knew it the whole day was gone and it was time for bed.

What you should do is allocated a limited amount of time to watch your favourite programs.  For instance if you normally watch five hours a day, then reduced it to two or three hours. Utilize the extra time to do something productive that will be part of your self-development.

If you’re trying to reach new goals you’ll find that spending your time wisely can help you accomplish that.

Reduce Time on Social Media

Recent studies show that 80% of Smartphone users reach for their phones before they even brush their teeth.  We’ve become a society consumed with social media.  Checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snap are some of the ways people spend endless hours these days.  This is a challenging habit to change. Especially since it’s the way many people stay connected with the world.  However, I’m sure there have been times you only meant to go on Facebook for 10 minutes and ended up wondering how you spent 1 hour.  Social media can suck your time.  If it’s not a requirement in your career, it’s a good idea to limit how much time you spend.  I remember reading the book 4 Hour Workweek, a few years ago and it struck me when the author said he only checks his emails twice a day.  This habit allows him to concentrate on the things he needs to do without his thoughts being interrupted by a message that might not even be urgent.

 

These are a few simple principles that you can apply to your daily life that can help you accomplish not only your New Year’s Resolutions, but your complete life transformations.  It’s about changing habits and lifestyle in order to reach the goal.

 

[1] Popular Science, How to Use Brain Science to Stick to Your Resolutions

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